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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This tank has been set up for several months. With in the last week or two I have noticed this strange cory behavior. I thought the fish was hypoxic and losing consciousness so I added the air line in the front of the tank. Normally I rely on the HOB filter to oxygenate the water. The addition of the air stone did not help so I decided to video it and ask for help. I have searched the web and I have seen people describing this and the feed back did not seem reasonable. I have kept corys for years and I know corys like to swim to the top and through air stone bubbles, but this fish is disoriented and drifting. I have also seen it start twitching then swim up, lose consciousness then drift down crashing into the hardscape on the way down. I thought it was a swim bladder problem and I am getting my hospital tank ready and I have tetracycline, but some times the fish swims normally. What do you guys and girls think?

watch video here

and here
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I can't be the only person who has every had this happen, anyone?
I took the fish from the video out and placed it in a hospital tank with tetracycline. He has not had any more "episodes" that I have seen. I just did a 50% water change today and added another dose of antibiotic. I think I will keep him in there for 5-7 days.

I came home to find one of the other corys belly up. It was still alive when I scooped it out of the home tank and placed it in the hospital tank also but an hour or so later he was dead.

I have 3 tanks with Corys and this problem is only happening in my 55G and only the Corys are affected, so far. The water is reading 7.6 pH, and NH3/NH4 was 0.255ppm, so I did a 50% water change several days ago. I may place a bag of peat in the HOB filter to try to get the pH around 6.
 

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Ammonia is the #1 Killer of Our Critters

Hi,

I was going to say constipation, but this is probably ammonia poisoning, keep doing big water changes once or twice a day, remove all dead and dying plant material.

Keeping under pH 7 should do for now. Move pH in increments of .2 per day.

Be careful of big pH changes too quickly can kill the Tetras; they seem okay for 2-weeks or so then begin dying.

Respectfully,
Joe
FBTB
 

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What Joe said...probably ammonia poisoning.
It would be good for both the cories and the tetras to get your pH down to 6.5-6.8. This is ideal for cories. And perhaps remove all the dead plant matter which contributes to "polluting" your tank with bio-waste.
 

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What is temp? 75 degree's F is what I try to keep cory's 78 tops.
More O2 available at cooler temps.
I suspect the rock is contributing to hardness and thus pH.
Would be curious as to pH of source water after setting overnight in a bucket,and pH of tank.
If too much difference, then osmotic shock combined with non zero ammonia levels could be the problem.
 

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What is the purpose of lowering pH in this case? Is it to convert the NH3 to NH4+?
I would think the bigger problem would be the ammonia.
Sorry to see your cories like this :( Water changes help sick fish a lot (in most cases). I would think that is the most important thing to do.
 

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NH3/4 Continuum

Hi,

Yes Squrl888 reducing pH and temperature increase the ammonium (NH4-) which is non-toxic while decreasing the Ammonia (NH3) which can be dangerous even lethal as little as 0.005-ppm.

My guess here is that at pH 7.6, if the temperature is 77F the ammonia content is about 0.006-ppm at 72F that would be 0.0051, Corydoras are particularly sensitive to ammonia so they tend to be leading indicators of ammonia.

Reducing the water to pH 7.2 means that at 77F the ammonia will be around 0.003-ppm and at 72F about 0.002-ppm well under the 0.005-ppm threshhold.

Respectfully,
Joe
FBTB
 

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Thanks Joe! I appreciate the response. I will keep it in mind in the future if I ever seen any ammonia related problems ;)

mekia02, be careful with the peat. You may end up dropping your pH too fast if you use too much at once. However. I think the peat is a good idea. I had a hatchetfish who got beat up on a stupid moss wall I put in my tank. His caudal fin was torn off and his whole side was covered in a white bacterial slime. He also had a popped blood vessel in his eye. It was very upsetting. The poor guy got caught in the stupid moss wall I foolishly put up. I added Indian Almond leaves right after a series of water changes over a couple days. I added 2 very large leaves and quite a few small ones as well during the time period. The leaves lower the pH and release different tannins and humic acids. Bacteria cannot live in very low pH water. Waters that are stained by tannic acids are often very low pH and are very clean because few bacteria can live there. Anyway, I am happy to say that my tough little hatchetfish made a full recovery, very quickly mind you, and I am very happy that he is still alive. He is missing his tail fin unfortunately, but he seems like he's doing alright. He even gets in on some hatchetfish bluffing and 'sparring' which is quite funny to see him try to act tough without that fin.
Anyway, again, I think the peat is a good idea. Just be careful to monitor your water to make sure you don't drop it too fast! If you have high kH you more wiggle room to add more peat, if you have low kH you better be careful. Since your pH is 7.6 I would guess your kH is high (my tap water is 7.6 pH and 12dkH) but that is not always the case I hear.
 

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Large Water Changes & Lower Temperature

Hi

It is always important to take care in manipulating pH; the general rule is no more than pH 0.3 per day unless you have sensitive critters, then you often have to go even slower.

Remember that lowering temperature (gradually) and large water changes mitigate many water problems.

Respectfully,
Joe
FBTB
 

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Video show's what look's to be calcerous rock for décor(holy rock,limestone?) which will raise hardness and pH.
Get rid of the rock,and no need to muck about with pH and water from tank may match more closely the source water.
If water hardness in the tank is vastly different than the source water,then with each water change, the fishes are subjected to stress via osmoregulatory function.
My two cent's
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am not sure the Ammonia is real. This is a 55G tank, with a few plants and few fish. 3 Bolivian Rams, 5 Neon Tetra, 5 corys. I added 10 more neons just 2-3 days before.

Oh and the rock is a fake petsmart rock so I doubt it does anything to the water, but as listed somewhere below my tap water has a high pH.

I just tested my tap water and Ammonia is reading 0.5-1.0 ppm, p.H 7.6-7.4 using API pH and High pH, Nitrates, Nitrite were 0.

I tested the tap water again after mixing some chloramine neutralizer with the water and it is reading what my eyes tell me is 0.25ppm. I am wondering if it is really 0 and my eyes are just not able to tell the difference in the color from 0 to 0.25 for the Ammonia test. I am using the API Freshwater master kit btw.

I have turned the heaters down. The thermometer was reading at about 78 in the rm in all tanks, but I have been in here with the door open and I know that with the door closed and all the lights on the room feels hot when I walk in so the temp probably has gone above 78 sometimes. I have added a small amount of peat in a filter bag to the HOB aquarium filter and so will be reading pH over the next few days.

The cory that was in the hospital tank has now been added back to the 55G and hopefully I won't have any more cory problems.

Bump: hopefully the peat will work bc 4 out of 5 of my tanks read above 7pH. The one below 7 is the often neglected Pseudomystus funebris tank that just has a thin layer of gravel, fake tree stump, 2 fish and equipment. The 55G is gravel with root tabs, the other 3 are dirted tanks but all 4 of these tanks I have spread Lime and Greensand over the bottom of the aquarium. I wonder if too much lime under the substrate and that my tape water is higher than pH 7 if that could be why I have a problem getting my pH low?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All Corys are removed from that tank now as they all started showing problems. I think that I put too much lime on the bottom, following what other people did on the internet. :icon_frow I just tested a 20L that I have set up, no fish but plenty of hitchhiking pond snails and plants, and it has very soft water, GH 0-30ppm, KH 0-40ppm, ph 7.5. I tested using API strips as I have not been able to locate the liquid GH/KH test kit, but previously liquid tests matched the test strip for me so while my eyes have trouble telling the difference in color on the strips I am at least sure that the water in the 20L is the softest water I have tested yet. I am thinking the dirt must have something to do with it because my 20T is dirted and is reading at GH 120ppm, and KH 40ppm. The 20T has dirt with lime and greensand but I also mixed in quite a bit of peat into the substrate.

I will re-test all tanks with the liquid GH/KH kit on Sunday. Then I will likely tear down the 55G and dirt it.
 
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